Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Ombudsman, Retired Justice D.K. Jain has reduced the lifetime ban of tainted Indian cricketer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth for an alleged spot-fixing scandal to seven years, on Tuesday.
Jain’s decision comes after the Supreme Court, in March this year, had set aside the lifetime ban of Sreesanth which was imposed by the BCCI’s disciplinary committee. The apex court had directed the board to take fresh actions and reconsider the length of a new ban on the cricketer. In response, the BCCI had argued that since the disciplinary committee was not operational anymore the ombudsman appointed by the Court should be given the responsibility to find a solution.
On Tuesday, Jain said, “I am of the view that banning Sreesanth from participating in any kind of commercial cricket or from associating with any activities of BCCI or its affiliates, for a period of 7 years with effect from September 13, 2013, i.e. the date from which the period of ban imposed by the Disciplinary Committee had commenced, will meet the ends of justice.”
Sreesanth has already served a ban of six years which barred him from playing cricket or participating in any event with which the BCCI was directly or indirectly involved. Jain further stated the career of the cricketer, who will turn 37 next year, might already be over. “For Mr Sreesanth, who is now in his late thirties, his prime years as a cricketer, particularly as a fast bowler may already be over,” said the retired Justice.
In 2013, Sreesanth was found guilty after a spot-fixing scandal broke out in IPL games involving Rajasthan Royals. BCCI imposed a lifetime ban on him and two other cricketers, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan. The Indian pacer moved to Kerala High Court and pleaded innocent. However, the high court upheld BCCI’s decision following which he moved to the Supreme Court, seeking the high court verdict be set aside. In March this year, the highest court removed the life ban imposed on him and asked BCCI to reconsider the decision.